We live on a lonely planet. Period.
Nah, this ain’t one of those late night, insomniac, incoherent headed, caffeine induced conclusions. Neither is this an overdose of Charles Bukowski. This is the sole thing you realize after a quick solo trip. Actually, lonely doesn’t do justice to what it is. Its somewhere between a struggle between shrugging off loneliness and embracing solitude. Yeah, there we go again – loneliness versus solitude battle. I’ll happily elaborate.
If places had souls, beaches would have to be the twenty something confused, misplaced, misshapen, passionate, raging, and energetic adolescent. Too many things to try, a long shore line to explore. Out of college, new in your profession, same old, same old : everyday. Kinda boring, right? The biggest problem with us millennials. We want things to change at the blink of the eye. We intend to discover new horizons while dealing with the same old mundane, rote learned pathways between the vast, unending ocean, and the definite, immovable shoreline. Maybe, that’s why beaches appeal so much. In contrast to the mountains. Mountains, on the other hand, have to be the tried-and-tested, now settled, yet sometimes avalanching mid thirties adult. So anyway, try running randomly on a beach someday. Early morning, mild drizzle, way before the sunrise. Nothing spiritual. Actually, it doesn’t even make you feel huge. In fact, all you can think of on a deserted beach is tiny. Extremely tiny. And your problems? Tinier. Non-existent. Not bluffing, at all. It could be the ocean roaring, or the enormity of the still starry sky gazing down – only at you – that may make you feel like a speck in the fabric of time space. But tiny in a good way. You feel like a cyclone, or like the eye of a cyclone. A cyclone potent enough to annihilate any hurdle that stands guard between you and the things you desire. And it is this ultimate realization that makes you feel mighty. Invincible. Yes, some of this sounds highly egotist and individualistic, but in retrospect, isn’t everything we do or try to do highly hinged on our own palpable existence? Your life is the storm in making, and YOU, are the low pressure zone for it’s existence. Then, why is it that an entire generation is facing what they call as an existential crisis? Why do we have to have the assurance of having people around us to believe that we are actually living? Why can’t we, for the heck of a wild wild experiment at least, try forfeiting the supposedly entitled attitude towards the Universe and exist, simply exist, as a tiny, yet potentially important stakeholder in this business of life? Like every single sand grain lining the sea shore? Holds back the entire ocean, doesn’t it? On its own.
Forest trails are fun. Funnier when you find a really dangerous path with an extremely steep descent. Oh and did I mention that over-daring, hyperventilating kid in you? Yeah, you instantly get ready to take the leap of faith and start climbing down. Like reckless life choices. And sometimes, you fall. Bad. Deep down, straight plunge to the rock bottom. And this can be either emotionally or in a materialistic way. You can do two things now. Dust yourself up, hold that side railing (which some blessed soul had consecrated for morons like you), finish that journey (a very important step), enjoy that God damned view, and finally walk your way up to the surface. OR, you shout the living hell out of that kid inside and scare the shit out of it so much that it never dares to take that leap again, grab that railing, and walk back to your safety net. Puh-lease, please, for the love of life – forgive yourself and go for the first option. Do yourself this simple favor. Like someone rightly said – give yourself the love that you so freely give on to others. In a world where everybody else is already messing you up, at least you got to stick for yourself. Life choices, people, ambitions, decisions, adult life shenanigans, etc, etc. They come and go. You will end up being a lone wolf when all this happens, no matter how many people you surround yourself with. But a wolf, nonetheless. You know how to survive. You will survive. You remain. For yourself. Always. So do not flinch the next time you set foot on uncharted territories alone. These end up being the real character forming stuff. Dope.
And then comes sunset, and roaming around, you find people in love. Love. Emotional. Passionate. Can’t really understand if this is the twenty something speaking or the beach soul. Nonetheless, my two cents. Actually, before love, let’s talk about closures. Rather, no closure situations.
La Douleur Exquise – the heart wrenching pain of wanting something you can’t ever have.
No closures. In relationships, friendships, work. Yes, work. Projects in which you invest your soul and brain muscle, and yet cannot be launched, are a workaholic’s worst nightmare. Haunt you worse than Count Dracula. So anyway. This thing with no closures is, it takes a chunk out of you, forces it down a tinted glass bottle, throws it deep deep inside the raging bosom of the ocean, and mirthlessly, shamelessly, hopes for the non-existent sailor to read your rescue pleas and set you free. Non-existent because the sailor never ever wanted to venture in those doomed waters. But you were a moron big enough to think otherwise. And you are left stranded. Pointless idiocy. Not your fault anyway. After all, dil to bachha hai jee..
So, anyway, two cents. You cannot love any other soul completely if you are in a no closure situation with yourself. Nobody else, just you. And this includes an extremely wide range of things. As infinite as the patterns reflected in every new wave crashing by the gorges by the sea. Larger-than-life-passions, ambitions, unrequited relationships, imbalanced work habits, tenterhooked friendships, moot point arguments, and so on and so forth. No, not at all saying that anyone is ever that sorted in life. But if there are too much of no closures on any of these fronts, it’s really difficult to make sense of the mess that you have turned into, and then take courage and initiative enough to adopt, accept, and nurture somebody else’s mess. And unless you do that, you don’t really love that soul. Hence, closures and love – all related. Now, I’ll have people yelling at me if I try painting loving somebody else as a highly individualist process too. But isn’t that correct? If you are not at peace in your solitude, how can you make sense of somebody else’s? Sleep beneath the stars alone, pick your favorite constellations and black holes, and share them with that lovable soul. Before loving someone else, try going for a love affair with your blissful solitude. Believe me, the connection then has to be celestially definite and grand.
Parting concluding thoughts?
I can’t think of anything better than these lines by Francis Bacon:
“Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a God”.
Wild beast works just fine for me, I guess. Helps with making sense with the monstrous desires trapped in my bones. Doesn’t it?
Overall, one heck of an adventure this was! Guess what? Life is the biggest, longest, solo trip you’ll ever embark on.
Make sure it turns out to be an amazing one..!